We may have come across the statement “Health is Wealth.” However, not all of us understand what it actually means. It means that no matter how wealthy we are, if we are not healthy, there is nothing we can cherish in life.
With globalization and urbanization, mortality (death rate), morbidity (percentage of people with medical complications), and rates of noncommunicable diseases are increasing in developed as well as developing countries (1). The possible cause of this is an improper lifestyle management and not giving proper importance to health.
In this article, we will discuss the different ways you can make way for a healthy lifestyle.
Health Is Wealth: 16 Tips to Stay Healthy
1. Have A Balanced Diet
Consuming enough food does not mean that you are healthy. You need to choose the right foods and space your meals in a balanced way.
Incorporating proteins, minerals, iron, vitamins, calcium, carbs and fat (good fat) into your daily diet is very necessary. Your plate should contain all foods – from basic food groups like whole grains, pulses, milk and milk products to meat-fish-poultry-eggs, vegetables, and fruits to create a balanced diet plan (2).
2. Take Care Of Your Diet
Avoid unhealthy fats and other processed foods that are high in calories and saturated and transfats. They gradually take a toll on your health, leading to weight gain, heart disease, and high cholesterol levels. Junk food is a major contributor to childhood obesity as well (3), (4).
Eat seasonal fruits that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals (5). You don’t have to give up delicious desserts altogether at the very beginning. A little moderation and portion control can ensure that don’t have to quit them forever. Make it a point to eat healthy.
3. Have Breakfast Regularly
Having a good quality breakfast is always important to kick-start your metabolic rate. It is believed that people who have a proper breakfast tend to reduce their overall calorie intake during the rest of the day (6).
Always make your breakfast the healthiest meal of the day by including whole grains, seasonal vegetables, and a protein source along with healthy fats from nuts and seeds.
4. Have Plenty Of Fluids
Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day. Water not only flushes out toxins from your system but also keeps your skin glowing and healthy (9), (10). You can also have other healthy beverages at frequent intervals to maintain your hydration levels (11).
5. No Late Night Meals
Late night meals or night-time meals could lead to obesity and other serious health consequences, as per a study on night shift workers (12).
A study showed that night meals had low thermogenic effects compared to afternoon meals, leading the former to cause weight gain (13).
Moreover, night time meals are found to be less satiating than those taken in the mornings (14).
Also, late night snacking might result in indigestion, and this might interfere with your sleep (15).
6. Use Less Salt
As per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, limiting your sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day (1 teaspoon or less per day) can help in this regard (16).
7. Check Nutrition Labels
Checking and understanding nutritional labels is very important to keep track of what nutrients you are consuming daily (18). You need to check the amounts of saturated fats, transfats, sugar, and salt in packaged foods (19).
8. Maintain Good Hygiene
It is important to maintain good overall hygiene to prevent infections. Always use hand sanitizers or soap to wash your hands before preparing or having meals (20).
Exercise is a must. Aerobic workouts, like walking or jogging, can help regulate your heart rate, giving you more energy throughout the day. Physical exercise is an effective way to boost your health and keep your energy flowing at optimum levels. Doing at least 30 minutes of exercise per day is enough to keep you healthy in the long run (21).
Several studies have also linked physical activity to longevity and a reduced risk of mortality and morbidity (22).
10. Don’t Sit Continuously For Long Hours
Whether it is at your home, office, or any other place, sitting continuously for long hours, without any movement, can slow down your metabolism and weaken your muscles (23).
Make sure you get up and move around every couple of hours. Stretch your muscles from time to time.
11. Practice Yoga
Yoga helps in overall mind and body development. It is a two-in-one medium to keep you healthy, both mentally and physically. Research has found that people who practice yoga at least 30 minutes in a week gained less weight and had lower BMI (24).
12. Get Proper Sleep
Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep relaxes your mind and keeps you healthy. Adequate sleep increases your productivity levels and helps you in getting your tasks done faster.
Proper sleep for a minimum of 7-8 hours boosts immunity, increases metabolism, and helps in cognitive development (25).
Lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, infection, and high blood pressure. Hence, a peaceful slumber is very important to stay healthy and fit (26).
Disturbed sleep can cause issues. You can also practice some healthy habits to get a good night’s sleep.
13. Avoid Mindless Eating
Eat when you are hungry, and make sure it is only healthy food that you are consuming. Eating any food stacked inside the refrigerator could be dangerous.
Mindful eating (paying attention to what you are eating) is very important to lose weight (27).
14. Avoid Pessimistic Thinking
This, by far, is the most poisonous drug ever known to humanity. The irony is that it is self-induced. The misfortune is that the person who is thinking negatively doesn’t know they are doing so.
Developing an optimistic attitude can alter your life in amazing ways. People who think positive live a healthy life, as per a study conducted on older adults (28).
The possible mechanism is that people who think positive look at life from a brighter perspective. Their way of thinking, behavior, and lifestyle – all of those impact their lives in positive ways (29).
15. Avoid Smoking
Smoking ruins your health, sooner or later. As per statistics, cigarette smoking is one of the major causes of death in the United States. It increases mortality rates of cancer, lung diseases, and heart problems (30).Quit smoking to lead a healthy lifestyle.
16. Control Your Alcohol Intake
According to the World Health Organization (WHO),worldwide 3 million deaths occur due to excessive abuse of alcohol, out of which 13.5 % are in between the age group of 20-39 years (31).
Alcohol may relax you after a hard day’s work, but it is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Frequent drinking alters your behavior, may affect your mental orientation, memory, and concentration, and ends up damaging your liver (32).
You need to realize that health is wealth. Taking good care of your health could be challenging, but it is important. It may be difficult to make it a priority, especially when you have a busy schedule, but start by adopting small changes everyday.
Change your lifestyle, take a holistic approach towards health, and lead a cheerful life.
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- Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, British Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Breakfast skipping and health-compromising behaviors in adolescents and adults, European journal of clinical nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The Association between Breakfast Skipping and Body Weight, Nutrient Intake, and Metabolic Measures among Participants with Metabolic Syndrome, Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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- A new proposed guidance system for beverage consumption in the United States, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Impact of nightshift work on overweight and abdominal obesity among workers of a poultry processing plant in southern Brazil, Chronobiology International, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Circadian variation of diet-induced thermogenesis, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The time of day of food intake influences overall intake in humans, The Journal of Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Relationship between Food Intake and Sleep Pattern in Healthy Individuals, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Use the Nutrition Facts Label to Reduce Your Intake of Sodium in Your Diet, U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
- Dietary Sodium and Health: More Than Just Blood Pressure, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Nutrition labelling: purpose, scientific issues and challenges, Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Fact Label, U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
- When and How to Wash Your Hands, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Regular physical exercise: way to healthy life, Mymensingh Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Physical activity and longevity: how to move closer to causal inference. BMJ Journals, British Journal of Sports Medicine.
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- Yoga in Women With Abdominal Obesity— a Randomized Controlled Trial, Deutsches Ärzteblatt international, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Metabolic, Endocrine, and Immune Consequences of Sleep Deprivation, The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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- Mindfulness and weight loss: a systematic review, Psychosomatic medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Changes in Optimism Are Associated with Changes in Health Over Time Among Older Adults, Social psychological and personality science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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- Overview of Alcohol Consumption, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health.